Panic or Praise?

Bible Reading:
Psalms of the Troubled Soul Psalm 13; 17; 23; 26; 28; 31

When we look at the magnitude of the trials that surround us, it is easy to become overwhelmed and, in our panic, think that God has forgotten us. David often expressed such feelings of anxiety and despair (31:22; 13:1-4; 28:1-5; 31:1-13, etc.).

The antidote to David's panic was praise (13:6; 26:7,12; 28:6-7, etc.). When he praised God, he was able to stop staring at the object of his suffering and see, instead, the goodness of the Lord. As his eyes moved off of his troubles and onto the Lord, his heart was strengthened with hope and joy.

Rather than trusting his own fearful heart in the midst of doubt and despair, David confidently placed his trust in God's unfailing love. An ever-present source of strength, God's love filled him with wonder and hope (13:5; 17:7; 23:6; 26:3; 31:7,16,21, etc.).

Like a shepherd guiding his flock, God shows his unfailing love by tenderly prodding us in the way we should go. When we begin to stray, he gently nudges us back with his rod. When we get tangled in the cares of this world, he carefully lifts us to safety with his staff and carries us in his arms. As we begin to grasp the depth of God's love, we can rest in his care and follow him willingly, finding comfort in his gentle nudges, trusting his hand to guide us in the way of love and truth (17:5; 23:4; 26:1,3; 28:7,9; 31:5-6,14-15, etc.).

Lord, when my trials overwhelm me, help me to resist the voice within me that falsely accuses you of indifference and injustice and fills my heart with fear and doubt. When my mind begs to know "Why" or "How long," calm my spirit with a song of praise to you. As I proclaim aloud your praise and tell of all your wonderful deeds, melt the fear within me and show me the wonder of your great love. Open my eyes to your love that is "ever before me" (26:3). As I walk in your truth, help me to trust in your unfailing love and confidently say, "You are my God. My times are in your hands" (31:14-15). Fill my heart with joy and peace as I learn to trust you. Fill my mind with your truth. Fill my mouth with praise to you and with David's exhortation to fellow sufferers, "Be brave. Be strong. Don't give up. Expect God to get here soon" (31:24 Msg).